Skip to main content

the corner infielders

Mike Lowell was hit by a pitch tonight which led me to think more about the firstbase/thirdbase situation, especially for next year. Add to that the acquisition of Triple-A firstbase prospect Chris Carter today, and one has to wonder what the plans are.

It seems like in the ideal world, the Sox would sign Lowell to a one year deal. However, I highly doubt he'd be willing to do that. That would be an unreasonable "hometown discount" to expect. Lowell is 33 years old, talented, very popular with fans and teammates, and coming off one of his best years ever. He is the prototype of the guy who's looking for a long term deal. That, taken with what I expect will be some hometown discount because Lowell obviously wants to stay in Boston, leads me to expect Lowell to ask for at least 3 years. If he were talking to, say, Tampa Bay, he'd probably want 5 years.

So, can the Sox and Lowell reach a deal on 3 years? I sort of doubt it. I bet Theo et al can cite stats ad nauseum about rapid declines for players after they turn 34 or 35. It's a tough gamble to not bid on Lowell, but, frankly, they are usually right on that sort of analysis. Think about sentimental favorite Billy "Barou" Mueller. God love him. But god also made him old with bad knees. He was 34 when his contract came up with the Sox. He was coming off 3 good years, including one ridiculous (and winning) one. They didn't sign him. Results: Mueller has played 32 games in the last 2 years. So, do you think the Dodger's $4.5 million investment last year worked out?

Now, Lowell is unlikely to take the Mueller track. He has played at least 130 games every season since 2000, and usually more like 150. Since there are not great players on the market at first or third, since Youk seems like he and his glove should stay at first, since we have nothing in the high minor leagues at those positions (at least we did not last week), it seems that keeping Lowell is the best idea. My question about that, to be answered some other day: where then do we add power to the lineup?


Popular posts from this blog

JD Martinez and Red Sox Depth

The Sox have signed JD Martinez; so, that's good.  His track record, personal reports on work ethic and attitude (aka lessons learns from Panda mania), and the fact that he's seen most of his success in the American League point to this being as sure a success as you can have in free agency.  He is getting a hefty pay check while the Sox aren't locked down for 6, 7 or Hosmer years.

Taking as a given that Martinez will be an outstanding hitter in the middle of the lineup, this signing - along with the signing of Eduardo Nunez earlier in the weekend - gives this Red Sox offense the most depth they have had since the 2013 champions.  That team taught us that it makes good baseball sense to go a few players deep at each position if you can, and to not obsess with how you'll find at bats for everyone.  Here we go again with that approach.

The 2018 Red Sox are remarkably deep and flexible.  When someone gets hurt, the likelihood is that that player will be replaced in the l…

The 2018 Red Sox Biggest Liability: Infield Defense

This Red Sox team is stacked.  At the moment, the biggest concerns seems to be the Mookie Betts hasn't been hitting and the fifth starter is likely going to be the perfectly capable Brian Johnson or Hector Vazquez for the first month or so.  But this team does have one real problem with it - and another possible one I'll write about later.  The infield defense has the potential to be pretty bad.  Given that I'm usually the one seeing hope in dark Sox times, I figured I'd try to dampen everyone's spirits now that we're cloaked in the warm glow of J.D. Martinez in a Red Sox uniform.

Based on what new manager Alex Cora has said so far, the Red Sox most likely Opening Day infield will be Hanley Ramirez at first, Eduardo Nunez at second, Bogaerts at short, and Devers at third.  That's a group that has the potential to really hit, but they also all have big defensive question marks.  It's not great when Bogaerts is your best defensive infield starter.  For the…

The Red Sox Wildcard Liability: the Bullpen (of course)

While we already talked about the infield defense as the one real glaring weakness on the Red Sox, the bullpen is the biggest wild card.

Last year's Red Sox bullpen was outstanding but there is reason to believe it over-performed.  In addition, it seems like John Farrell had a little magic with the 'pen, but hopefully it was really Dana LeVangie who had the magic touch since he is making the odd move from bullpen couch under one manager, to pitching couch under a new one (within the same organization) - and he's the rare pitching couch who never pitched professionally.

Last year's Red Sox won the division in large part because they were a ridiculous 15-3 in extra inning games.  It feels like once a week they'd go to extras and someone like Heath Hembree or Hector Vazquez would put up a couple zeros on the board until Sandy Leon blooped a single that scored JBJ.  Now, those guys aren't bad pitchers but that was not normal.

This year, the Sox will rely on mostly t…